Tag: opium

Local Drug Markets Normalised, More Mass Treatment for Addicts, a Ministry Dissolved: A look at recent drug trends

Two new reports – UNODC’s annual survey and a scrutiny by SIGAR of US-funded drug treatment programmes – have revealed new trends in the drug industry in Afghanistan. Opium sales locally look to be increasingly normalised, and those with skills in harvesting the crop are doing well, even while farmers’ incomes have fallen. AAN’s Jelena […]

AAN Q&A: An established industry – Basic facts about Afghanistan’s opium-driven economy

Afghanistan’s unflattering label – the world’s leading producer of opium and its derivatives, morphine and heroin – has proved hard to remove. Over the last ten years, opium cultivation has increased steadily reaching unprecedented highs, whilst eradication levels have been decreasing and the country has slowly slid into more severe poverty. To see where Afghanistan […]

Why capturing Helmand is top of the Taleban’s strategic goals

Helmand, in southern Afghanistan, is a strategic goal for the Taleban, who have launched more attacks there than in any other province of Afghanistan this year, making a slow pincer movement towards the provincial capital, Lashkargah. The lure of Helmand goes beyond its opium economy, with the Taleban pursuing a long-term strategy to expand their reach into the […]

“As Easy As Growing Potatoes”: How formerly ‘poppy-free’ Ghor is at risk of becoming an important player in Afghanistan’s opium business

Ghor province has been considered poppy-free for a long time, but in the past two years opium production and drug trafficking have picked up sharply. With insecurity in the province on the rise, obstructing income sources and basic services, many of Ghor’s farmers migrated to neighbouring provinces like Helmand, helping in the local drug production […]